The NFL intends to vigorously defend itself against the lawsuit filed on behalf of Aaron Hernandez's family against the league and the Patriots.
“We intend to contest the claim vigorously,” NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said at a media briefing Friday.
Hernandez's lawyer, Jose Baez, announced the lawsuit Thursday and said tests at Boston University showed that the former Patriots tight end had a severe case of the degenerative brain disease CTE.
NBC's Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes the league may argue that Hernandez’s rights already have been determined by the settlement of the class action concussion suit brought by former players. The NFL doesn’t yet know whether Hernandez was part of the class, or whether he opted out of it.
Lockhart cautioned against painting Hernandez as a victim.
"His personal story is complex, it doesn’t lend itself to simple answers,” Lockhart said. “He was convicted of a homicide and his well-documented behavioral issues began long before he played in the National Football League. . . . The real victims are the friends and family of those he killed, along with his young daughter.”
Patriots coach Bill Belichick's reaction to the Hernandez lawsuit story? "I'm not a doctor," he told reporters in Foxboro on Friday.
On the question of a link between concussions and CTE, Lockhart said science hasn't been able to connect the dots yet.
“It’s a very complicated puzzle,” he said. “Every piece is important...There are a lot of dots here, and science just hasn’t been able to connect them.”
0:43 - Tom Curran, Kayce Smith, and Michael Holley talk about Bill Belichick saying it’s “incomprehensible” that people expect the Patriots to be on the same level as last year at this point in the season.
11:55 - Tom Giles, Kayce Smith, and Michael Holley discuss J.R. Smith’s comments about the Celtics not being a threat to the Cavaliers.
15:38 - Abby Chin, Chris Mannix, and A. Sherrod Blakely join BST from Cleveland to talk about Marcus Smart and the Celtics failing to agree to a contract extension, making him a restricted free agent in July. They also preview Tuesday’s Celtics-Cavaliers season opener.
19:25 - Reports say Alex Cora is the frontrunner for the Red Sox managerial position, but Brad Ausmus interviewed for the position on Monday. Who is the right man for the job? Tom Giles and Michael Holley discuss.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Marcus Mariota threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Taywan Taylor with 5:29 left , and the Tennessee Titans beat the Indianapolis Colts 36-22 on Monday night to snap an 11-game skid tied for the NFL's longest active losing streak against one team.
Mariota didn't move around much on a cool night after missing a game with a strained left hamstring, but still managed to throw for a season-high 306 yards. He completed each of his three passes on the drive that ended with Taylor's tiebreaking score.
The Titans (3-3) also snapped a two-game skid with the win.
Jacoby Brissett tried to rally the Colts (2-4) to a second straight overtime. But Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard forced Brissett out of bounds shy of the first down marker on fourth-and-inches with 2:19 left. Coach Chuck Pagano lost his challenge.
Derrick Henry then clinched the win for Tennessee with a 72-yard TD run with 47 seconds left. Henry, the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner, finished with a career-high 131 yards on 19 carries. DeMarco Murray also scored.
The Titans looked like the NFL's worst scoring defense in the first half instead of Indianapolis, with Brissett directing the Colts to a 13-9 halftime lead. John Simon then intercepted Mariota's first pass of the third quarter and returned it 26 yards for a TD.
But the Titans forced the Colts to go three-and-out on three of their first four drives of the second half, and Avery Williamson stripped tight end Jack Doyle of the ball after a catch.